Ladies secure first points of the season
QPR LADIES secured a first point of the FA Women’s Premier League season on Sunday thanks to Jenny Critchley’s equaliser earning a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth.
After an even start, it was Portsmouth who opened the scoring when Sarah Kempson picked up the ball on the edge of the box and fired into the top corner five minutes into the second half.
A dominant Rangers side continued to threaten and three minutes later had an equaliser – Critchley pounced on a rebound from Alexandra Nord’s initial shot to make it even.
QPR started the strongest at Honeycroft, with Jess Treharne and Hayley Sloan both going close within the first ten minutes.
Chances continued to come and go for both sides. Kempson saw her early shot miss the target before Sloan again saw an effort fly wide.
An end-to-end half continued as Gemma Hillier tried to trouble Callie Neat in the R’s net but was denied by the side netting before Treharne again saw a free-kick saved by Courtney Trodd.
And the free kicks looked dangerous for Rangers with last week’s double goalscorer Juliette Denny seeing her effort acrobatically saved by Trodd.
Portsmouth started the second half the fastest of the two teams with Neat being forced into a low save to deny a goalscoring opportunity.
The fast start paid off as Pompey found the net five minutes into the second period. Kempson found space on the edge of the area and sent her effort into the top right corner.
The visitors nearly had a quick-fire second when Neat was again forced to react when Katie James fired low towards the bottom corner after a breakaway.
Instead it was QPR who were celebrating, though. Nord broke away and forced a save from Trodd, who could only put the ball straight into the path of Critchley to fire home her first league goal of the season.
The goal seemed to give the game a huge boost and a momentum swing towards Rangers, who took control of the game. Chances for Denny and Sara Lopez before the hour mark were to show for the domination as the R’s went in search of their first win of the season.
With 20 minutes remaining, Martino Chevannes turned to his bench and the introduction of Elizabeth O’Callaghan gave QPR another lease of life with the wide player making some enticing runs. The Pompey defence struggled to keep tabs on the substitute as Rangers piled on the pressure with efforts from Denny and Jean Sseninde again going wide.
In a tense finish it looked like Rangers might be denied a point when Rebecca Bell went clean through with a minute remaining. However, she managed to chip both the goalkeeper and the crossbar as her effort went agonisingly over to the relief of the R’s bench, fans and players alike.
Meanwhile, the Reserves were involved in a close league battle with Crystal Palace in South London where they suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat.
The First Team now look to continue their FAWPL Plate run as they face Old Actonians in the Third Round as the away side at Uxbridge next Sunday.
QPR: Neat, Lopes, Engels, Sseninde, Denny, Treharne, Critchley, Sloan, Lopez (O’Callaghan 70), Maggs, Nord.
Sub (not used): Haggag.
Goal: Critchley 53.